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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Debtors Billed on Their Cell Phones

The Federal Court Marshals Service, perhaps best known for preventing debtors from traveling abroad, is adding to its collection of methods to deal with small-scale but persistent delinquents.

Most recently, marshals have been withdrawing money from debtors’ cell phones, a spokesman for the service said Thursday. “It’s only an experiment for now, but the law allows us to do it,” he said, declining to give his name in line with the service’s policy.

The method is being tested in Buryatia and Sakhalin for those who decline to pay debts for long periods of time, the spokesman said. “If someone’s a debtor, we must collect the money.”

Earlier this week, the service said it would propose changes allowing them to seize debtors’ licenses to hunt, fish or operate cars and aircraft. The service said Wednesday that it has collected 110 million rubles ($3.5 million) in the first seven months of 2009, slightly more than for the same period last year.